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Cancer Service Expands at Glasgow Libraries

18/09/2012
​Cancer support and information is to be offered in almost every library in Scotland's biggest city.
In a UK first, Macmillan Cancer Support and Glasgow Life will ensure every cancer patient in the city can get support and information in their local community.
The charity says the groundbreaking new project will transform the way cancer support is offered across Glasgow and could be a model for the rest of Scotland.
Glasgow Life hope the unique partnership will be another step towards turning libraries into community hubs where people go access a variety of services, including getting online, learning new skills and now accessing cancer support.
Macmillan’s General Manager in Scotland, Allan Cowie, said: “We are delighted to have made Glasgow the first place the UK where everyone affected by cancer can get information and support in their local community.
“When someone is diagnosed with cancer or a loved one is diagnosed, they have lots of questions and concerns.
“They shouldn’t have to wait until their next hospital appointment to get answers or have to travel across the city to get support.
“That’s why we have worked with Glasgow Life to put a Macmillan service in almost every library in the city.
“This project will allow everyone with cancer or their friends and families to access the support and information they need on their doorstep, something we know is very important to people at a very difficult time.”
The unique scheme will see support and information provided by an army of highly trained volunteers in 25 libraries, overseen by a Macmillan Service Delivery Manager.
As well as specialist cancer information and emotional support, the service can refer people onto other Glasgow-based Macmillan services, including benefits advice, a vocational rehabilitation service and a financial guidance project.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life added: “I am very proud of the role that Glasgow Libraries has played in developing the information and support that people living with cancer will now be able to access in every community in the city.
“Libraries already deliver vital services to the areas they serve and this inspired partnership between Macmillan and Glasgow Libraries will see expert volunteers give information and support to those who need it when they need it most.”
Cancer Support Scotland is another partner in the service, offering counselling and complementary therapies in some libraries.
Colin Graham, Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and Glasgow Life in this project.
“Cancer Support Scotland’s role is to complement the great work done by Macmillan by offering the services it doesn’t such as one-to-one talking therapy and a range of complementary therapies.”
The Macmillan support and information centres are currently open in Pollok, Dennistoun, Easterhouse, Springburn and the city’s flagship Mitchell Library, with the rest of the centres to open over the next year.
The new way of delivering cancer support is based on the award winning Macmillan information service in Easterhouse Library, which was launched in April 2009 in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
One man who has been involved with the service since it opened is grandfather Tommy Nugent.
The 69-year-old was diagnosed with prostrate cancer in April 2009 and on a visit to his doctor saw a poster for the Macmillan service and went along.
The Shettleston man said: “When you are first diagnosed with cancer you are numb and don’t know what to do.  Finding the Macmillan project in my local library helped me tremendously. It was a place where I could go and just talk about how I was feeling and get information when I needed it.
“The  fact I could walk to it was great, it didn’t cost any money or take a long time to get there. When you are going through cancer you can feel really quite ill and travelling is not something you want to do. The cost of travelling could put people off even attempting to access support.
“I think I was one of the first people to use the Macmillan service in Easterhouse Library and I’ll glad to see similar services are being put in libraries across the city. The more local support that’s is there for people with cancer the better.”
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